Leaving The People You Grew Up With To Be A Better You, A Breakdown Of J. Cole’s ‘Cousins’Et cetera, Real Goes Right — By Real Goes Right on May 2, 2013 at 9:40 am
In case you haven’t heard, J. Cole, aka “light-skinned Jermaine,” dropped off another EP last week titled “Truly Yours 2.” It’s the second version in this series, which finds Cole trying to re-establish himself with the listeners and ramp up new interest in his sophomore album, “Born Sinner.” Cole is infamous for his raps about Sallie Mae and student loans, but he’s also known for having a remarkable affinity to pen songs dealing with real life. One of the standout verses from “Truly Yours 2” is his last verse on the tape on a song named “Cousins.” On “Cousins,” Cole finds himself having a conversation with his cousin who embarked on a divergent path from his and now finds himself at the bottom while Cole is moving in the opposite direction.
Here is the song and accompanying lyrics.
cousin in jail again, asking me for bail again
close when i was 12 but, i was much frailer then
he was like 16, a n*gga from the gutter and
years ago his favorite uncle had married my mother and
here we are, rolling through the ‘ville like dumb and dumber and
for that summer man, i swear i wish you was brother then
but time passed and we fell off cuz you moved back home
little did you know jermaine would grow a new backbone
n*ggas thought he wasn’t gon make it til he proved that wrong
10 years later on the radio that “who dat” song
ya homeboy pumps “the warm up” now you bugging
cuz you looking at the cover and you say “yo that’s my cousin”
n*ggas looking at you like “you lying” but you wasn’t
next thing i know you blowing up my line all a sudden
and i’m showing love like “yo look what i did…
ain’t nobody coming from here ever did this shit this big” man
…but now you saying “man enough about you…shit what about me?
my n*gga what about me? oh you forgot about me?
same n*gga showed you how to rap, now you don’t know how to act
boy i’m at the bottom you could pull a n*gga outta that
put me in a video, hey, put me on ya hottest track
bring me on the road wit you, you know cuz got ya back
and i’m strapped up, if them n*ggas act up
see you headed to the top you need to let me catch up
please let me catch up…
…won’t you help me catch up man…”
i see you when i see you
harsh as it seems to say i wouldn’t wanna be you
bail you out for your daughter and i pray to god
a n*gga never pull ya card and she won’t ever get to see you…
time keeps slipping away…away…
another day another love song…another day another love song…
There’s two things this J. Cole song makes me want to touch on.
The first is the side effects of leaving home, and the second is being seen as the ladder to pull people up … and the problems that can come along with that.